Thursday turned out to be more exciting than we had originally thought as with no runners and not actually able to get across to the Goffs Sales in Ireland, we thought we were in for a quiet day.
However, by mid afternoon we had purchased two new recruits t join our team thanks to Gerry Hogan, our Bloodstock Agent in Ireland who has done so well for us over the years.
The first purchase, a lovely looking unbroken chestnut filly by Ocovango, has been purchased by one of our Racing Club members, Matthew Baker, who is delving into sole ownership for the first time. Ocovango is an up and coming stallion who surely has a huge future ahead of him. Our yard is blessed with many good friends and many loyal supporters and Matthew is right up there with the best of them. Let’s hope that she gives him loads of fun and lots of success.
We then bought an unbroken Sageburg gelding which we will eventually be for sale. He’s a good looking bay gelding and came from P J Colville who does so well with his youngsters. Both horses arrived early yesterday morning at Martin Jones’ Redmarley yard to be backed and ridden away before they come back to us either ready to carry on with or have a break in the field before we bring them into training. As with any horse, they will tell us when they are ready. Exciting!
Mike & Mella Wright were in the yard yesterday morning. In fact they stayed over on Thursday evening at Joe & Wendy McDonagh’s pub in Longborough, the Coach & Horses, and we joined them for a drink and had a great catch up. Yesterday the rain came down and so did the fog so they couldn’t see as much as normal but it was great to see them and they were pleased with the horses they are involved in; Dreamsundermyfeet, Mozzaro and Black Prince. Paul Davis was in all morning too.
James Best and Warren Marston were in and we also worked Sarasota Star, Ben Buie, Mr Mafia, Black Panther, Eclat Des Mottes, Be Thankful, Kazontherazz, Robsam, Capricia, Beneagles, Pinnacle Peak, Gold Mountain, City Never Sleeps, Lord Condi, Reve, Solstice Star, Enforcement, Raving Bonkers and Cotswold Prince. The rest cantered.
My parents came for a flying visit on Wednesday night and it’s always great to see them. Such strange times but hopefully things are starting to get back to some sort of normality. As with many of the older generation they have been so careful and were strictly isolating for the first three months of this pandemic but even now ours is the only other house they have visited since March and life is very different to what it was. Watching Freddie on the gallops is therefore a huge ‘pick me up’ for them and we even managed to get my mum up on the gallops both times they have visited to watch him and the rest of the team – some feat but she’s absolutely loved it.
I mentioned earlier in the week that August is a busy birthday month and today’s Happy Birthday is for our owner/breeder HRH The Princess Royal who has turned 70 today. The hardest working person we know (506 Royal Appointments in 2019!) and she certainly doesn’t look to be slowing down either but we hope she manages to have a quieter day today. Belinda & I were fortunate enough to celebrate her 50th Birthday at a wonderful evening at Windsor Castle which also celebrated Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s 100th Birthday, Princess Margaret’s 70th Birthday and Prince Andrew’s 40th. A very special evening but I can’t believe it is now 20 years ago!